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Safeguarding Your Pets from Parasite Infections

To enjoy your pets longer, to be able to play and cuddle them, pets should be free from parasites. Of course, no pet owners would allow their children to play with pets full of ticks and fleas, and hug unsightly appearing animals. Proper safeguards on pet care starts from knowing the symptoms, treatment and prevention. Dogs suffer from common parasites such as fleas, ticks and heartworms. Unlike fleas and ticks, heartworms are unnoticeable unless symptoms show on dogs. Veterinary reports show how to rcognize their symptoms, how to effectively eliminate sources, and to prevent them from infecting your pets.

Dogs with worm infections has symptoms of diarrhea, and sometimes blood in the stool. The dog starts to lose weight, has dry hair, loses appetite, has a distressed appearance, and shows worms in his vomit. Newly born puppies may inherit heartworms from the mother dog that has worm eggs dormant in its body and transmit it to them upon birth. Fleas and ticks are common to dogs. Fleas stay on the animals, while the flea eggs are found in carpets, beddings, and grass. It has been reported that for every flea found, thousands of eggs lie somewhere in the house and in the yard.

To start with any preventive control to eliminate heartworms, flea and ticks, some kind of treatment must be initiated. Dog owners must make a thorough examination of their breeding places. Heartworm infections of dogs are said to be transmitted through mosquitoes, and clearing of mosquito breeding places should first be done. First, dogs must be examined for the presence of adult worms by a Veterinarian. If found positive for worms, treatment through medications should be done. Treatment takes several weeks depending upon the degree of infections.

After treatment, two to three weeks after, the Veterinarian will initiate prevention of heartworms eggs to mature into adult eggs. Preventive medication takes about one month, while for some kind of dogs; Vets recommend continued preventive medication, for at least one year. It is best that after 6 months, another examination for presence of heartworm in dogs be done, because the infection is not manifested in the outer appearance of the dog in its initial stage. For fleas and ticks, dog owners should start in eliminating and controlling the eggs and larvae of the fleas and ticks in the environment and start wih treatment of the pet. For flea control inside the house, a frequent vacuuming of places where the dog sleeps and plays should be done to remove flea eggs It should be discarded immediately into a plastic bag and properly sealed. Then use an adulticide to kill remaining adult fleas and larvae.

There are many adulticide available in the market in the form of sprays, powders and foggers. Ask a veterinarian in choosing the proper adulticide in places where there are children, sick person or other animals that may be affected. In outdoor areas, fleas like to live in moist, warm places where there are organic rots.

These are the places where dog owners should start cleaning and using adulticide to kill fleas and larvae. These places in the house are porches, patios, dog houses, and gardens. Foggers and sprayers are best used in these open areas as these can reach a larger space, cracks and corners. Ticks can also be controlled through this method, as there are insecticides that have a combined effect to treat both fleas and ticks at the same time. Vets may recommend such solutions or may suggest available products in the market. Moving towards prevention should first start with treatment.

And once cleared, maintenance and preventive measures should be thoroughly followed to avoid recurrence.

Robert Thomson is witing articles about dog heartworm and heartgard on his heartworm protection website


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